Amazing Kids! Magazine

Sci-Tech Kids! Virtual Gaming with Kinect

By Genevieve L’Esperance, Sci-Tech Columnist

Look Mom and Dad no hands!

Imagine riding down the rapids standing up without holding onto anything or playing skipping rope and tickling your tiger without getting in trouble with your parents.  Better yet, what if you could wave your hands and make your annoying brother or sister disappear?

Well virtual gaming is about to let you do that (except make siblings disappear and believe me with two older brothers it’s tempting). In a few weeks the Xbox is about to get a sister product called Kinect (initially called project Natal). If you ever got tired of running after Mom and Dad for fresh batteries or tired of family fights over who lost the controllers, then you really are going to love this concept. Put away the Wiimote and watch as Kinect recognizes faces, obeys voice commands, and tracks body movements. Basically you stand in front of your tv and the Kinect Sensor and let the fun begin!

I got to see Kinect in July in Washington and what struck me as awesome was the interaction as you use voice commands to control everything from your favorite animal in Kinectimals to pointing your finger at the screen and scrolling through music and movie selections.  So now you can start watching a Harry Potter movie and tell the tv to “Stop”, “Rewind”, “Fast Forward” or “Play” giving you plenty of time to go grab your favorite snacks or skip to your favorite scene. But it gets even better! Think you know who a certain character is and where they played in their last movie? Well don’t get off your chair and run to the computer. Instead sit right down, highlight the people you want to know more about and links to their biographies appear on the screen.

With your own avatar, it’s full body game play that anyone can get up and jump into. In fact adding your friends to the game gives you even more power to ride the rapids and collect points in the Adventure game.  With sports, fitness, dancing and more to come it gives you, your family and friends the option to be indoors but spend that snowy day having a blast. Soon you’ll forget the weather outside while you have the best time of your life with all your friends and family.

Now you’re really “in the game”.

Here’s one of my favorites, Kinect Adventure:

But wait, you can catch me live with my own review of Kinectimals and Dance Central coming up in mid-November when I visit the demo store in Toronto. Can’t wait!

Genevieve L’Esperance